JMC : Witness of the Gospels / by A.S. Barnes


THE following lecture was delivered extempore, and practically without notes. At that time there was no idea of publishing it in this form, though the material formed part of a larger work which the lecturer is preparing for publication. The lecture, therefore, has had to be written out from memory, some months after it was delivered, and with only very slight records of what was actually said. It can only claim to be substantially the same as that originally delivered, and this will account for any difference which may be noticed by any who were then present and now read the lecture in print.

The object the lecturer had in view was to show that there is no need for any believing Christian to shrink from full investigation into the origins of the books which he has been brought up to consider sacred. At first sight the results of criticism constantly seem inconsistent with the accepted beliefs of Christianity. These results are generally put forward by avowed enemies of revealed religion. It is the complexion which such men put upon the facts, rather than the facts themselves, that is responsible for the widespread feeling that criticism is necessarily hostile to religion. The object of the lecture is to show that this is not the case, but rather the reverse, and that the results of modern critical study, when carefully considered, tend to throw back the date at which the Gospel material was originally composed to a time even nearer to the actual events than that which has been handed down by tradition.

It is needless to say in conclusion that, as a loyal Catholic, he would desire to submit all that he has written to the judgment of the Church.

CAMBRIDGE, 25th January 1906.

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